Today, one of my favorite families, the Lights, laid their mother and grandmother to rest, celebrating her life here on earth and her "promotion" to glory, while mourning their loss. This is the same family who just stood beside a gravesite a few weeks ago, saying goodbye to a brother and uncle.
Today, the Bydevaate family is making plans for the funeral of their 28 year old son. What? How is this right? Joel, a young man in the prime of his life, killed in a farming accident. This is a family I've known my entire life, a family that has already gone through so much. Really, God? Why? We know You're in control, and trust Your sovereignty, but why?
Today, the Hodges family said goodbye to their mother as she passed into glory. I think of Roy, who stood at my doorway, tearing up just talking about his sweet Doreen in the hospital, and wonder, why?
3 lives. 3 families. 3 people who are spending this Sabbath in glory.
And yet life goes on. In all this grief and tragedy, we need to keep going. So what do we do with this? In times like this, it's easy to spout off Scripture like Romans 8:28, that God will work things for good, or Jeremiah 29:11, that God has a good plan for our future. It's all true. We can share all sorts of wonderful "Christianese" platitudes, about how these people are in a better place, that we can celebrate their lives and be thankful they're in glory. That's also very true.
So what we do?
We hold on. We hold on to the promises of Scripture like a lifeline, because that is what they are.
And we hold on to those around us, not taking for granted the gifts that God has given us, since we don't know when He will take them back. Holding on to our children and our families with open hands. Holding on to the little moments, and appreciating them.
As I'm sitting here writing, this picture flipped up on my digital frame...
This was taken a few weeks ago. We got to spend a Sunday afternoon in Waterton with my folks. We were sitting down having an ice cream (because, honestly, you can't go to Waterton and not have ice cream), and Katie was just taking pictures of different things. She sits down beside Dad, who says "Hey, let's take one of those....you know what they're called.....like Cheryl always does." A selfie, Grandpa? Yup. :)
So, the picture is not super quality, but I love it. Just a random little moment, a selfie with Grandpa. But so precious.
So tonight when you tuck your kids in, and say good night to your loved ones, hold them a little longer. Thank God once again for all that He's given you, because even in all this grief and sadness, there is still joy.